The development my wife and I live in has a number of trails and walking paths. I have laid out about a four mile walk for myself that I try to do almost every day. The other day I was walking when two young guys pulled up to a stop sign in their cars and as they pulled away they sounded like jet engines taking off, loud mufflers. Well into a quarter of a mile away I could hear one of the cars go through all four gears. My first thought was “knock off the noise, boys.”
Then I smiled and thought… hey, you old guy have you forgotten? I grew up in a community and a time when we could identify whose car (s) was coming into the school parking lot by the sound of the mufflers as far away as half a mile. Let’s see there was Don Snyder in his ’49 Mercury, Phil Reisner in his ’54 Ford, Donald Ray in his no mufflers at all old ‘48 Ford. Donald Ray was the one who had a cigarette with smoke curling up painted on the driver’s side door with it saying “Girls put your butts in here.” There was Paul Snyder with his dual stacks just behind the cab of his pick-up truck. Norman Whitlock in his ’48 Pontiac and Freddy Hartman in his pick-up truck that sounded like judgment day when he started it. In the spring of the year when windows were up in study hall, we could have easily told you which one of them was coming on the scene as we knew the sound of each. And today I was now complaining about these two kids who just drove by me on my evening walk. Come on Adamson, think back.
Noise is synonymous with youth. When one of my teenage grand kids gets in one of my old cars they first reach for the volume button on whatever the music maker is in my vehicle. (Cassette players in both my '55 Thunderbird and the ’65 Corvette) Go to a restaurant today and see if you can hear yourself think. My wife and I went to one the other night. I kid you not, if Jimmy Hendrix had been in there playing the National Anthem or the Skynyrd Boys doing “Freebird” they would not have been heard. But when I think of music and noise my conscience does come a callin’ on me. The very first record I bought was a 78 rpm record with Little Richard from Randy’s Record Store in Gallatin, Tennessee, a mail order type place. At that time we lived in a house that had a screened in front porch. On the evening of the arrival of my Little Richard record I was letting the neighbors get the blessings of hearing his music, as I had my record player on that porch. I remember my dad stepping out on the porch and asking, “What is that?” I quickly explained that it was Little Richard. (Long Tall Sally she built’ sweet, she got everything that Uncle John needs) To which my dad said, “Well turn Little Richard down.”
We won’t even go there with the clothing fads of the day and how my mom did not like pegged pants. Remember them? Remember white T’s shirts, pegged Levis and white buck shoes? Some even cut off the belt loops on their Levis.
Lesson here might be to us older ones, we might ask ourselves about some of the fads, fancies, noises we had in our generation; and maybe cut the current kids a bit of slack on some of theirs. I did so on “some.”
June 28, 2014